The job board industry year in review: 2022 was interesting!

Job board industry year in reviewIf 2020 was the year of col­lapse and rebirth, then 2021 was the year of bounce-back. So what was 2023? For many job boards, it was the best year ever. Com­bine labor short­ages, con­tin­u­ing demand for goods and ser­vices, a major land war in Europe, and an econ­o­my that did­n’t seem to real­ize that there was a reces­sion going on, and you have a year that was expan­sion­ary, chal­leng­ing, and prof­itable for the job board and recruit­ment mar­ket­ing indus­try. Look back at some of the key events of the past year:

  • Jan­u­ary: ZipRecruiter issued its first ever junk bonds with the inten­tion of rais­ing $500 mil­lion in fast cash. Para­dox closed a Series C invest­ment of $200 mil­lion.  Sna­gA­Job secured a $65 mil­lion loan (in the first of sev­er­al Sna­ga­job devel­op­ments in 2022). And Seat­tle-area start­up Seek­Out land­ed an addi­tion­al $115 mil­lion to pro­pel its val­u­a­tion past $1 bil­lion, earn­ing it the cov­et­ed uni­corn label. Ok, a pret­ty good start to the year.
  • Feb­ru­ary: Microsoft Corp. report­ed rev­enue at LinkedIn rose 37% year over year to $3.53 bil­lion in the com­pa­ny’s fis­cal sec­ond quar­ter end­ed Dec. 31. UpWork post­ed a 29% year-over-year increase in total rev­enue in Q4, the total fig­ure to $137 mil­lion. Stu­dent-focused recruit­ment site Hand­shake closed a third major fund­ing round in 16 months and claimed a val­u­a­tion of $3.5 bil­lion, more than dou­ble what it had last year. And final­ly, DHI Group, which runs Dice and Clear­ance­Jobs, had total rev­enue of $33.7 mil­lion, up 10% sequen­tial­ly and 25% year over year. Quite a change from 2020.
  • The war in Ukraine had an imme­di­ate on the indus­try: Jooble sus­pend­ed its ser­vices in Rus­sia and Belarus; Adzu­na and sus­pend­ed ser­vices in Rus­sia; and the stock price for the lead­ing recruit­ment in Rus­sia, Head­Hunter Group, lost about two-thirds of its val­ue. Recruit’s HR tech­nol­o­gy seg­ment, includ­ing and, saw rev­enue surge 81.3% year-on-year to $2.0 bil­lion U.S. in Q3. announced the acqui­si­tion of QCI Health­care, and Job­case announced the acqui­si­tion of recruit­ment mar­ket­ing plat­form Recruitol­ogy.  Seek’s group rev­enue increased 59% to A$517.2 mil­lion ($369 mil­lion U.S.). Lots of changes.
  • April: Step­Stone, the lead­ing Euro­pean recruit­ment mar­ket­place, pulled out of France. Job board soft­ware provider ForceFind­er announced that it is shut­ting down as of May 31, 2022. Euro­pean vir­tu­al and hybrid recruit­ing plat­form Tal­entspace was acquired by tal­ent net­work Hand­shake. Recruit Hold­ings announced its oper­at­ing com­pa­nies had sus­pend­ed in Rus­sia. raised $120 mil­lion.  iCims acquired Candidate.ID. Final­ly, Austin uni­corn Workrise laid off an unspec­i­fied of employ­ees as it exit­ed sev­er­al ver­ti­cals and seeks to divest parts of its busi­ness. Ups and downs.
  • May: In a land­mark rul­ing by the U.S. Ninth Cir­cuit of Appeals, the court held that scrap­ing pub­licly acces­si­ble data is legal. Recruit Hold­ings’ HR divi­sion rev­enue reached $6.2B, and Indeed month­ly vis­its 600M.  ZipRecruiter report­ed first-quar­ter rev­enue rose 81.3% to $227.3 mil­lion. Gru­pa Pracuj saw rev­enue increase by 58.7% and net prof­it by 139.2% in FY2021. has post­ed €502 mil­lion ($532 mil­lion U.S.) in 2021 rev­enue, a rise of 55% from €324 mil­lion the pre­vi­ous year. And final­ly, Upwork report­ed gross ser­vices vol­ume rose 27% year over year in the first quar­ter to reach $1 bil­lion. Those are some big num­bers.
  • June: Adzu­na expand­ed their pres­ence in North Amer­i­ca with the acqui­si­tion of Get­Work. Nige­ria-based concierge ser­vices start­up Eden Life acquired Lynk, a Kenya-based lead­ing blue-col­lar jobs site. Clev­er­Con­nect and Tal­en­try merged their com­pa­nies. Rus­sia-based recruit­ment Head­Hunter bought out the stakes of lead­ing Kyr­gyz recruit­ment clas­si­fied Gru­pa Pracuj acquired Ger­man HR soft­ware man­age­ment firm soft­gar­den. Lots of and sell­ing!
  • July: Intern place­ment com­pa­ny Intern­Match raised $10 mil­lion in a Series A.  JobGet land­ed $52 mil­lion in fund­ing for build­ing a go-to hub for waged or hourly work­ers.  JobAnd­Tal­ent acquired UK-based Jump, a devel­op­er of arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence for job match­ing. In big legal news, Den­mark’s JobIndex filed a for­mal com­plaint to the EU Com­mis­sion request­ing that an EU case be ini­ti­at­ed against Google and its par­ent com­pa­ny Alpha­bet Inc. for abus­ing its dom­i­nant mar­ket posi­tion. Gloat, an inter­nal mar­ket­place for cor­po­rate tal­ent, announced that it raised $90 mil­lion in a Series D round. Won­der how that Google com­plaint is going now?
  • August: Upskls, a firm that pro­vides on-demand work, acquired Work Sim­plr Ltd, a UK-based firm that built a vir­tu­al host­ing and man­age­ment solu­tion. ZipRecruiter report­ed a 31.1% year-over-year increase in sec­ond-quar­ter rev­enue. Rev­enue at glob­al staffing firm Recruit Hold­ings Co. Ltd. report­ed signs of a slow­down in hir­ing when report­ing results for its fis­cal first quar­ter end­ed June 30.  Seek rev­enue reached $773 mil­lion U.S. in FY22, a growth of 47%. And of course, anoth­er uni­corn: Incred­i­ble Health, a U.S.-based job-match­ing plat­form for nurs­es, closed an $80 mil­lion Series B fund­ing round and announced hit­ting a $1.65 bil­lion uni­corn val­u­a­tion. Anoth­er uni­corn every month.
  • Sep­tem­ber: Dig­i­tal recruit­ment com­pa­ny Harv­er acquired Pymet­rics. Chi­na’s  Boss Zhipin, also known as Kanzhun Lim­it­ed, post­ed a 4.8% year-over-year decline in rev­enue in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2022. Glints, one of South­east Asi­a’s largest tal­ent devel­op­ment and recruit­ment plat­forms, raised $50 mil­lion in an over­sub­scribed Series D. And final­ly, Sna­ga­job laid off about 40 employ­ees. Bum­mer.
  • Octo­ber: The­Muse announced that it acquired Fairy­god­boss. Cana­di­an job board Career­Bea­con acquired Ruut­ly, an employ­er brand­ing plat­form. CV-Library acquired Bril­liant Jobs. Pay­cor acquired Tal­enya. B2B tal­ent plat­forms in 2021 reached $13.8 bil­lion in gross spend vol­ume, accord­ing to Staffing Indus­try Ana­lysts. Acqui­si­tions can’t stop.
  • Novem­ber: DHI Group report­ed third-quar­ter rev­enue rose 25.3% year over year to $38.5 mil­lion. Microsoft Corp. report­ed that LinkedIn rev­enue rose 17% to $3.66 bil­lion in the com­pa­ny’s fis­cal first quar­ter end­ed Sept. 30. Alma Career’s rev­enue amount­ed to €82.4 mil­lion ($80.5 mil­lion U.S.) dur­ing the peri­od Q1-Q3 FY 2022. Joband­tal­ent raised $500 mil­lion at a val­u­a­tion of $2.35 bil­lion. Fiverr report­ed third-quar­ter rev­enue rose 11.1% year over year to $82.5 mil­lion. Not to be out­done, Upwork report­ed rev­enue rose 23.8% year over year to $158.6 mil­lion. Lot­sa earn­ings.
  • Decem­ber: Beam­ery became the lat­est SaaS uni­corn as it takes in new fund­ing and reach­es the cov­et­ed mile­stone of over €1 bil­lion in val­u­a­tion. Glints laid off around 18% of its over 1,100 employ­ees. Hunt Club, a Chica­go-based tal­ent plat­form that uti­lizes refer­rals, announced a $40 mil­lion series B fund­ing round. Info Edge India Ltd., the par­ent com­pa­ny of Naukri and 99Acres, post­ed $66 mil­lion U.S. in rev­enues for Q2 FY22-23. Sna­ga­job hired a new CEO. And in a fit­ting end to the year,  LinkedIn VP of legal Sarah Wright said HiQ Labs, which no longer oper­ates, had agreed to destroy all source code, data, and algo­rithms cre­at­ed when it scraped LinkedIn mem­ber pro­files in vio­la­tion of the site’s user agree­ment. A fit­ting end, indeed.

Anoth­er year, come and gone. I fer­vent­ly hope that we see an end to con­flict in Ukraine dur­ing 2023, as well as con­tin­ued good for­tune for the job board indus­try, job seek­ers every­where, and those who serve them! Hap­py new year to you!

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